In a letter to Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Argentina to immediately cancel its accord with Iran to investigate the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center.
Monday’s letter follows Iran’s demand that Interpol arrest warrants be suspended against its citizens implicated in the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 85 and injured hundreds.
Timerman had guaranteed that the Memorandum of Understanding signed Jan. 27 between the two countries would not affect the Interpol red notices obliging third countries to detain on sight any of the five alleged Iranian accomplices. Timerman reiterated this when he distributed a letter from Interpol on March 15.
Timerman’s guarantee was rapidly negated by the subsequent statement of his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, who argued that, as a result of the agreement, “Interpol must quit issuing the red notices.”
Salehi said that “based on the agreement signed by Iran and the Argentinian government, International Police must quit issuing red notices for four Iranian officials,” the IRNA agency reported.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast on March 16 said that Iran and Argentina’s initiative to create a “fact-finding commission” to examine the AMIA bombing has “blocked the United States and Israel meddling in Iran’s good relations with Latin American countries.” He added that Israel had been trying to link the AMIA tragedy to Iran but Tehran’s agreement with Buenos Aires was preventing the Jewish state from achieving its goal.
“We have already said that this agreement leaves a lot of doubts and now there are many more concerns,” AMIA President Guillermo Borger told JTA.
“Iran has shown bad faith in so quickly violating the objective of the accord by unambiguously revealing its intent to use it as an instrument to elude justice,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for International Relations for the Wiesenthal Center, said. “This mockery of Interpol illustrates the Tehran regime’s criminal character and impugns its credibility in ongoing nuclear negotiations.”
“Iran is the godfather of international terrorism. When the accord was first announced, we denounced it as whitewash. Iran aims to put an end to the AMIA case and Argentina cannot facilitate that purpose. The key contradictions between the respective statements of the Argentine and Iranian foreign ministers void any further negotiations” noted Sergio Widder, Wiesenthal Center director for Latin America.